There is no greater stage for a player to make a name for themselves in club football than the Champions League final.
Club football’s answer to WrestleMania, the grandest stage of them all is the pinnacle of European club competition and crowns a new champion of the continent at the end of every season.
The Reds are gunning for a treble of trophies having won the 2021/22 Carabao Cup and FA Cup, and will be fuelled by yet another 90+ point Premier League season, even though it wasn’t enough to clinch the title and keep them on track for a historic quadruple.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, have combined immense talent within their squad with an unbreakable knowhow of navigating through the Champions League knockout stages this season. Calling on experience and the heritage of their previous 13 wins, they’ve knocked out Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City in dramatic fashion to book their spot in yet another final.
2022’s climax could well be a goal fest, with Karim Benzema looking unstoppable in his pursuit for a Ballon d’Or and Liverpool boasting one of the most potent attacks possible, including a vengeful Mohamed Salah. Scoring in the Champions League final isn’t for everybody, though, and scoring more than once is an even more challenging feat.
Just 12 players have scored more than once in Champions League finals, making up the all-time top scorers list for the competition’s penultimate game. Ahead of a mammoth clash between Liverpool and Real Madrid, here is the list of all-time Champions League final top scorers.
12. Karl-Heinz Riedle – 2 goals
The German forward actually had a brief stint with Liverpool during the autumn of his career, but it was with Borussia Dortmund where Riedle was at his best and grabbed a historic brace.
Riedle, nicknamed ‘air’ for his aerial ability despite his size, bagged twice against Juventus in the 1997 final as Dortmund won 3-1 and became Champions League winners for the first and only time to date.
11. Diego Milito – 2 goals
Never renowned as a truly world class forward for much of his career, it was under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho when the stars aligned and Milito put together a world class season for Inter in 2009/10.
An iconic member of Mourinho’s Nerazzurri side, Milito scored the only two goals in the 2010 Champions League final against Bayern Munich to secure the continental treble. A truly unforgettable campaign.
10. Hernan Crespo – 2 goals
Once the world’s most expensive player, Crespo was the definition of unstoppable when at full pomp. As well as winning the Copa Libertadores in South America, the Argentine was key in winning the Champions League for AC Milan.
Leaving Chelsea to join the Rossoneri on loan in 2004/05, Crespo was a hit for Carlo Ancelotti and bagged a brace in the 2005 final to secure the title at the expense of Liverpool.
9. Mario Mandzukic – 2 goals
The first entry to score his two goals in two different finals, Mandzukic also became the first Croatian to score in a Champions League final with his strike for Bayern Munich in 2013, where he opened the scoring as they beat Borussia Dortmund.
It was his second in 2017 that remains most memorable, but would’ve been truly unforgettable had the game ended in his favour. Playing for Juventus as they faced off against Real Madrid, Mandzukic scored a volley that resembled Zinedine Zidane’s famous goal in 2002, but it meant nothing as Real won 4-1.
8. Raul – 2 goals
Raul remains the hometown hero for Real Madrid and sits second in their all-time scoring charts, enjoying an illustrious career with Los Blancos.
His two strikes came in back-to-back finals, scoring against Valencia in 2000 and Bayer Leverkusen in 2002, making him the first player to score in two separate finals after the competition was renamed to the Champions League.
7. Sergio Ramos – 2 goals
You read that right. A defender makes this list. If that doesn’t tell you about just how much of a big game player Ramos is, then nothing will.
Ramos scored a 93rd minute equaliser in the 2014 final against Atletico Madrid which helped Real Madrid win the game after extra time, and scored the opener two years later – again against Atleti – as they won once more.
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6. Lionel Messi – 2 goals
Look away, Manchester United fans. This entry will still hurt.
Messi was responsible for halting United in their tracks as they met Barcelona in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals, both of which they lost and both of which Messi ripped them apart in, scoring one in each game.
5. Daniele Massaro – 2 goals
Enjoying a stellar career with Milan throughout the 1980s and 90s, Massaro’s two Champions League goals came in the same game, the historic 1994 final against Barcelona.
Destroying La Blaugrana in a 4-0 thrashing, Fabio Capello’s Rossoneri were helped along by a game-winning brace courtesy of Massaro, who stepped up in the absence of Marco van Basten.
4. Filippo Inzaghi – 2 goals
A striker who has won it all and scored just about everywhere he could, Inzaghi forged an incredible legacy after transferring to Milan.
While the first few seasons were marred by injury, Inzaghi found his groove and peaked in 2007 as his brace fired the Rossoneri to yet another Champions League win, in a victory over Liverpool.
3. Samuel Eto’o – 2 goals
The first player to win back-to-back continental trebles with different clubs, Eto’o was leaving his mark on the Champions League before that incredible feat.
Scoring in the 2006 final as Barcelona beat Arsenal, Eto’o scored his second goal in a Champions League curtain-closer some three years later, as La Blaugrana finished off Manchester United.
2. Gareth Bale – 3 goals
Separating the men from the boys, it’s Madrid’s number one public enemy who has one of the best records of scoring in Champions League finals. Bale is an incredible player for the big games.
The Welshman scored in the 2014 Champions League final at the end of his maiden season as a Real player, and more famously scored the brace to crush Liverpool in 2018’s final, one being a spectacular overhead kick. Despite being surplus to requirements, don’t be surprised if he’s called upon one more time.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 4 goals
Who else, other than this man? Ronaldo is Mr. Champions League. Under those lights and in the biggest, fullest stadiums, he thrives like no other.
Scoring the first of his four as United edged past Chelsea in the 2008 final was the first time Ronaldo truly announced himself on the big stage. Upon moving to Real Madrid, he scored the first of three in 2014 against Atletico Madrid, and bagged a brace in the 4-1 thrashing of Juventus three years later. Unstoppable.